The Lexus LF-CC concept has been unveiled to preview the Japanese luxury brand's next-generation BMW 3 Series rival.
Lexus has used the reveal of the two-door show car to confirm its intention to build a mid-sized luxury coupe to join the new IS250 and IS350 replacement that launches in 2013.
The Lexus LF-CC - standing for Lexus Future Coupe Concept - is powered by a petrol-electric hybrid drivetrain that the company says will also go into production. It combines a 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine featuring both direct and port injection with an electric motor that has target emissions of less than 100g/km.
The drivetrain can be expected to make it a hybrid first for the Lexus IS, which unlike the CT200h small car is likely to offer petrol engine variants as alternatives.
Lexus claims the hybrid drivetrain "will achieve class-leading energy efficiency, with more than 1.47kW of power produced per gram of CO2".
The concept's design is said to take inspiration from the the Lexus LFA supercar and Lexus LF-LC concept from the 2012 Detroit motor show. It clearly relates the upcoming IS range to the family styling of other Lexus models such as the GS large car, RX SUV and LS limo - notably the huge 'spindle' grille.
Some of the concept's design details, such as the triple-projector-beam headlights and sculpted side mirrors, and some of the more flamboyant aerodynamic bodywork are unlikely to make it into production, though the LF-CC's general shape provides a strong guide to the look of the new Lexus IS coupe.
A convertible variant would be a natural extension, too, considering the current IS250 drop-top.
The interior of the Lexus LF-CC concept is also equal parts wishful thinking and production reality.
Glowing-blue steering wheel controls and display screens are pie in the sky but the two-part dash is similar to the design found in the latest Lexus GS. Lexus says the upper section is for 'at a glance' information such as the central display screen while the lower section is an 'operating zone' that encompasses features such as the gearshift lever and so-called Touch Tracer menu control system.
High-quality materials and finishes promise a step up in luxury for the next-generation Lexus IS, though the company has aimed for a sporty cockpit that includes a low-set driving position.
The Lexus LF-CC concept will debut at the 2012 Paris motor show starting Thursday 27th September.